House Tour – The Bathroom

Hi all! I thought it would be fun to start our house tour section off! I’m going to share our house in the order we completed our reno projects since I’m methodical like that. So first up is the bathroom!

We knew the very first thing we wanted to tackle at our house was the bathroom. See, it’s the only full bathroom, so it HAD to be done before we moved in or, as you can imagine, life without a bathroom would have been not very fun. I should also mention, that all along, the purpose of this house was to be an investment. We planned to be here no longer than 10 years, (we’ve been here 5 so far), and we knew we wanted to make a profit when we sold (who doesn’t?), or become landlords and rent it out. We also knew that we needed to make wise decisions, because when we were finished with it, our little townhouse would probably be the best one in the neighborhood and we didn’t want to put more into it than we could get out. So all of our decisions were geared toward affordable products, that still also looked nice, homey, and updated. We wanted it to look like we spent a lot more money than we had. And doing all of the work ourselves would certainly help with that. So way back in July of 2012, we renovated the bathroom. Here’s where we started:

(Sorry for the poor quality photo. Blogging was not on my mind back then, so I didn’t take any before photos. This is the photo from the listing.)

I know what you’re thinking. It’s not even that bad. Well, let me tell you. This is why I’m annoyed I didn’t take before photos. But if you’ve ever been in the middle of a move, you’ll understand. As soon as we got the keys, I went up there and started picking at the linoleum floor and the rest was history. Right, you say, but it really wasn’t that bad. Okay fine, here’s the list of just how bad it was: There was a tri-fold mirror that was broken. I opened it and it fell in the sink. They used door casing for baseboard. The pine beadboard had never been sealed with anything so it was collecting crud and needed cleaned badly. The vanity was from the 70’s, wasn’t even real wood, and had been painted over (and not very well). The door had about 5 years worth of hairspray on it, that I could not get off to save my life. The shower walls were made of some weird flexible composite that revealed TONS of mold underneath when we took them down. The tub looked like this:

“Welcome to home-ownership!” was a phrase we heard many times! But after help from Chris’s dad, and other friends who graciously came over to help with other tasks, we completed the bathroom in time to move in! If I remember correctly, I think it only took us about two weeks. Not too bad.

Tah dah! We reused the beadboard where we were able to. We only had to buy a little bit, so that saved us a bunch of money. The drywall was in terrible shape. It looked like it had been through a war, and then a minor battle with spackle, so I fixed that and made it nice and smooth. We installed thicker baseboards, replaced the vanity, mirror, light fixture, tub/shower, floor, and all plumbing fixtures. And then we painted.

We didn’t gain a ton of storage, but the open shelving brightened up the space. Before, the Johnny cabinet blocked all the light to that side of the room and jutted out into the space. With the open shelves, the ceilings feel taller, and the room feels bigger. They also provided easy access to items we use every day. Good old IKEA provided the shelves, hanging buckets, and some of the decor.

We got this tub/shower combo from Home Depot. We spent about $700 on it at the time. Trimming it out gave it a little more of an expensive, built-in look. We also replaced the plumbing fixtures, with nicer, oil rubbed bronze ones. We were able to reuse the toilet paper holder. I already had the shower curtain, and it was a quality one, so I picked a wall color that matched the gray stripe: Behr, Natural Gray.

And our floor, which isn’t AMAZING, but it was affordable, easy to install, and would hold up well to water, cost us a whopping $23. I’m pretty happy with it. Nowadays, they carry much nicer, more realistic wood-look vinyls, but at the time, this was the best we could find.

We bought a new fixture, but reused the glass shades from the existing fixture for a craftsman look, and some savings. I needed a fairly narrow mirror, so I found this Longaberger one on eBay that was exactly the right size and the same wood tone as the floor. It gives a nice break from all of the black and white.

We found an inexpensive vanity with a top included at Home Depot for $119 that matched the beadboard perfectly. SCORE!

So after about $2,000, we had a new bathroom that we felt safe to use, and we moved into our new house. Little did I know, 5 years later, we still wouldn’t be finished with renovations! Oh well, such is life. Can’t wait to show you the rest of the house! Stayed tuned for more tours!